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1853, John Walters - Unfit For Publication
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 6 Dec 1853 1

    Monday, December 5.



    John Walters, alias John Waters, a youth about nineteen years of age, was indicted for having, at Cook’s River, on the 15th of October committed the above offence with a mare. The evidence was unfit for publication.

   The Jury, without quitting the box, acquitted the prisoner of the felony, and found him guilty of an attempt.

    His Honor, in passing sentence, remarked that he would wish to sentence the prisoner to Cockatoo Island, there to be kept to hard labor among the most degraded creatures, but he entertained a doubt as to whether the statute allowed of a sentence of hard labor. Therefore the sentence of the Court was that the prisoner be imprisoned in Parramatta Gaol for the period of three years, and at the expiration of the term of imprisonment he would be required to enter into recognisance to be of good behaviour for the space of two years, himself in £50, and two sureties in £20 each. His Honor also intimated his intention of consulting with his brother Judges as to the legality of sentencing the prisoner to hard labor, and in the event of their opinions being affirmative, the punishment of hard labor would be added to the sentence passed.

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Empire, Wed 7 Dec 1853 2


(Before his Honor the Chief Justice.)

    The Attorney-General appeared on behalf of the Crown.


    John Walters alias Waters, stood charged with the commission of a nameless offence, at Cook’s River, on the 15th October last.

    The evidence in this case is totally unfit for publication.

    Verdict—Guilty of an attempt, not guilty of the capital crime.

    His Honor having some doubts as to the bearing of the law on the case, would consult his brother judges on the matter; he believed the English Statute was somewhat deficient as not defining the powers of the Court in passing sentence under the verdict delivered. In the meantime, the sentence of the Court  was, that the prisoner was confined in one of her Majesty’s Gaols for the period of three years. If legal, his Honor would certainly sentence the prisoner to hard labour on the roads or other public works of the colony. This, however, would be determined after consulting his colleagues.

1  The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 6 Dec 1853, p. 4.

2  Empire, 7 Dec 1853, p. 2.